Defense Distributed, the group that has been making headlines by using 3D printers to make guns and gun parts has some new headline material. They’ve just released their own CNC Mill, called the Ghost Gunner, specifically aimed at manufacturing reliable firearm parts.  The term “Ghost Gunner” is a reference to the fact that these parts, made in peoples homes, wouldn’t necessarily be stamped with a serial number and located in a database. In effect, these would be “ghosts”.

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How does a CNC mill specifically make gun parts?

Well, it doesn’t. Its just a mill. The size of the workable area is just large enough to do some milling on an AR15 lower (the important part that is usu1ally traced). Aside from the fact that the usable area is somewhat small for a CNC mill, it doesn’t have any specific features that make it a gun producing machine.  It may actually be a very nice general purpose desktop cnc mill, though many of the specs are still “TBD”.

The way that the Ghost Gunner furthers Defense Distributed’s cause is in the accessories and software that comes with the mill. If you purchase a pre milled “80% lower”, a piece that is 80% complete and totally legal, you can clamp it into the machine and hit a button and it will do the rest. The entire point of the Ghost Gunner is to make the process accessible to someone untrained and unskilled.  You just have to be willing to fork over the $999-1199 preorder.

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An 80% lower clamped into place in the Ghost Gunner, ready for completion

What do you think?

People have made weapons with nearly every technology ever invented. You can make a gun out of pretty much anything if you set your mind to it, even a shovel! Putting the ability to produce firearms into the hands of people who may not necessarily have previously had the skills could be a bit concerning, but do you have to be a master machinist to behave responsibly with a firearm?

Tell us what you think. How will this effect home manufacturing?